Dr Hugh Rice

Dr Hugh Rice


I have been a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Chemical and Process Engineering (formerly the School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering) at the University of Leeds since 2013, after finishing my Ph.D. studies in the latter. My main research interests are (a) novel acoustic methods for measuring the material and flow properties of multiphase suspensions and (b) development of mathematical methods and software for visualisation and manipulation of engineering design configuration spaces with a view to improving the design experience.

Previous to my Ph.D. I worked as an accelerator physicist, with a particular focus on accelerator design and electron beam dynamics, at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and before that as a higher scientific officer for the Radiation Protection Division of the Health Protection Agency (now part of Public Health England), concentrating on the radiological assessment and remediation of contaminated land and food production systems. My academic background is in physics (M.Phys. Physics with Astrophysics, Leeds) and applied maths (M.Sc. Theoretical and Applied Fluid Dynamics, Manchester).

Research interests

My research focuses on, but is not restricted to, characterisation of complex multiphase liquid-solid flows, in particular on nuclear-analogue suspensions, with a view to providing solutions to the challenges associated with the transport, processing and disposal of nuclear waste. There follows a short, non-exhaustive list of research topics in which I have an interest.

- Mathematical methods (set and lattice theory) and software development (Python, Perl) for design configuration spaces to aid the design user experience (since April 2019)

- Measurement of suspended particle concentration in arbitrary flow geometries using a generalised acoustic dual-frequency inversion method

- In-line rheometry for high-viscosity flows using a combined acoustic velocimetry/pressure-drop method

- Measurement and modelling of critical deposition velocity in pipe flow using an acoustic backscatter method for bed depth identification

- Categorisation of bedforms (stationary/moving beds of solid particles) in multiphase pipe flow

- Development of novel, robust acoustic methods for pilot-scale deployment

- Measurement of thermophysical properties of nanoparticle suspension via speed of sound variations

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Ph.D. Leeds (2013)
  • M.Sc. Manchester (2004)
  • M.Phys. Leeds (2002)

Student education

I have contributed to a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules, including as a demonstrator (mathematical skills, numerical techniques, programming), tutor/marker (engineering project design for undergraduates, assistance with research students) and speaker (nuclear waste management, sustainable energy systems, acoustic characterisation techniques).

Research groups and institutes

  • Nuclear Leeds